ARTNotes Sept. 14

September 14, 2015


KCAI Celebrates Landmark Donation and Receives National Attention

The annual state of the college address on Aug. 18 brought additional celebration, thanks to the announcement of a $25 million gift to KCAI from an anonymous donor through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation (GKCCF). Interim President Tony Jones was joined by Kansas City, Mo. Mayor Sly James, CEO of GKCCF Debbie Wilkerson and board chairman Pat McCown to announce the largest gift in KCAI’s 130-year history. The award supports the long-term growth of the college by funding the general endowment, campus enhancements and a $6 million challenge grant at a two to one scale for all donations to endowed student scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships and visiting professors. To learn more about the award and its allocation, click here. Pictured from left: Media interview with Channel 41 and Interim President Tony Jones after the announcement; Champagne toast in Epperson Auditorium; Mayor Sly James speaking at the state of the college.

The announcement received significant attention in local and national news. To view the articles, click below.
New York Times
Kansas City Star
Chronicle of Philanthropy

KCAI on List of Top 25 Design Schools

Graphic Design USA (GDUSA), an information source for graphic design professionals that reaches 100,000 readers per month, named KCAI in their list of the top 25 design schools in the U.S. For more information, click here.

Upcoming Events

- A Common Sense Reading Series presents Rhiannon Dickerson and Amish Trivedi on Saturday,
Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Irving Amphitheater

- Seats are still available in the following Continuing Education classes:

  • “Drawing Studio,” instructed by Molly Kaderka (’11 painting and art history), will be held on Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m. from Sept. 16 - Oct. 21.
  • “Art Sofa: Late Renaissance through Realism,” instructed by Donna Houtteman, will be held on Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. OR 6-8 p.m. from Sept. 16 - Oct. 21.
  • “Art Sofa: Medieval through Renaissance,” instructed by Donna Houtteman, will be held on Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. OR 6-8 p.m. from Sept. 17 - Oct. 22.

- T.N.T. (The Noon Thing) on Fridays at the H&R Block Artspace

  • Sept. 18 - “Sabbatical: Discipline” with Karen McCoy, Dwight Frizzell and Brett Reif
  • Sept. 25 - “Sabbatical: Research” with Cary Esser, Julie Farstad and Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, moderated by Michele Fricke
  • Oct. 2 - “Legacy” with Richard Mattsson, Jason Pollen, Warren Rosser and Jim Sajovic, moderated by Caleb Taylor

- Local alumni are invited to the upcoming Kansas City Regional Alumni Gathering reception on Friday, Sept. 25. Interim President Tony Jones will share his vision for the future of KCAI, while attendees enjoy a reception. The event will be held from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Ave. To attend, please RSVP to 816-802-3461 or

Student News

KCAI Welcomes the Class of 2019!

Pictured: Class of 2019. Photo courtesy of Misty Gamble, assistant professor, School of the Foundation Year.

Faculty News

Anne Boyer, assistant professor of creative writing, was recently interviewed about her new book, Garments Against Women, for Poetry Foundation. To read the article, click here.

"Fernweh," an exhibition of drawings by Jonah Criswell (’05 painting), instructor of painting, will open in October at the ReTramp Gallery in Berlin, Germany. Pictured: “The Cottage” by Jonah Criswell (2015), pencil on paper, 30 inches by 40 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist and EG Schempf.

Alumni News

AZART Gallery in New York, NY presents new work by Josh George (’97 illustration) in the group show “More Than Words,” on view Sept. 18 – Oct. 3. Pictured: An example of new typography paintings by Josh George. Photo courtesy of the artist and AZART Gallery.

Work by Paul Shortt (’09 painting) will be on view at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC from Sept. 25 - Oct. 22. Shortt’s work is also currently on view at School 33 in Baltimore, Md. through Oct. 3 and at The Luminary in St. Louis, Mo. through Nov. 6. Pictured: “Reserved for Loitering” by Paul Shortt, vinyl banner. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art in Sedalia, Mo. will present a three-person exhibition, “Kindred Virtuosities: Recent Work by Miki Baird, Garry Noland, and Susan White,” opening on Sept. 26 and showcasing new work by Susan White (’96 sculpture). The exhibition will remain on view through Dec. 22. Pictured: “Bronze Thorns” by Susan White (2015), bronze, 11 inches by 11 inches by 9 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist and EG Schempf.

Bernadette Esperanza Torres’ (’91 ceramics) sculpture "My other Sister Hope (Spies)" was featured in the September 2015 issue of Ceramic Monthly in the “Idea to Finished Form” section. Also, Torres’ solo exhibition at the University of Houston-Clear Lake Gallery continues through Oct. 22. Pictured: "My other Sister Hope (Spies)" by Bernadette Esperanza Torres (2015), stoneware,glaze, gold luster, glass, wire and epoxy. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Stanley Whitney’s (’68 painting) solo exhibition “Stanley Whitney: Dance the Orange,” is on display at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY until Oct. 25. The show includes 28 paintings and works on paper created by the artist between 2008 and 2015. Pictured: “Dance the Orange” by Stanley Whitney (2013), oil on linen, 48 inches x 48 inches. From the Collection of Frederick and Merle Fish. Photo courtesy of the artist and team gallery, inc.

Made in Americana, a new custom furniture and design shop in Brooklyn, NY, owned and operated by Jordan Johnson (’10 sculpture and creative writing) and Joey Grimm (’10 sculpture), launched their new design line and online shop in August 2015, which features custom lamps by Matt Jacobs (’10 sculpture and art history) and artwork by Amanda Martinez (’10 painting). For more information and to view Made In Americana’s new line of products, click herePictured: Products from the design line by Made In Americana.

AIGA-KC selected Kristopher Martin’s (’15 illustration) poster “Tomas and the Library Lady,” created during the 2014 Sponsored Studio program with the Coterie Theatre, to be included in its A11 Design Competition and Exhibition. Pictured: “Tomas and the Library Lady” by Kristopher Martin (2014).

The traveling show “Bruce Springsteen: a Photographic Journey,” produced by The GRAMMY Museum, opens at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ on Sept. 27 and includes work by Ed Gallucci (’68 graphic design and photography). For more information, click here.

Greg Hull (’85 sculpture) was awarded one of the two $100,000 Transformational Impact Fellowships by the Arts Council of Indianapolis. The two-year fellowship supports artistic community partnerships that will have a positive impact on the recipient’s community.

Local KCAI-related Exhibitions

50/50 — Through the collaborative efforts of KCAI alumni Cambria Potter (’12 painting) and Hannah Lodwick (’13 painting and art history) with help from Keller Gordon (’14 painting) and Wendy Vong (’14 graphic design), the exhibition space 50/50 recently celebrated its grand opening. The inaugural exhibition “COHOST” features artists Kristin Walsh from New York, NY and Robert Howsare (’08 printmaking) from Kansas City, Kan., who both utilize half-digital and half-analog processes in their work. The show will be on view Saturdays from noon-5 p.m. at 50/50, 1628 Wyoming St., through Oct. 2. For more information, visit is a text block. You can use it to add text to your template.

Belger Crane Yard Studios The exhibition “SunSet|SunRise: Work from Studio Nong” highlights the work created during the current Studio Nong residency and will be on view Aug. 28 through Sept. 18 at Belger Crane Yard Gallery, 2011 Tracy Ave. Pictured: The 2015 Studio Nong collective.


Belger Crane Yard Studios  The opening of “Suites,” a solo exhibition of work by Peregrine Honig (attended), takes place from 4-6 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the Belger Crane Yard Gallery, 2011 Tracy Avenue. The show will be on view through Dec. 19. To read an article by KCUR’s Laura Spencer about the exhibition, click here. Pictured: “Velvet” by Peregrine Honig (2015), 7 inches by 9 inches, ink on paper. Photo courtesy of the artist and Belger Crane Yard Gallery.


Box Gallery —
Whitney Manney’s (’12 fiber) solo fashion exhibition “ArkhiMODiste” of her label’s sixth collection is now on display. Manney will give a talk about the exhibition, design process and fashion in Kansas City at noon on Sept. 25 at the Box Gallery, 1000 Walnut St. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch and chat. Pictured: Models Sanay Alexander, Bre Bennett and Alexandria Janell wearing garments designed and constructed by Whitney Manney. Photo courtesy of Silvia Abisaab (senior, photography).



H&R Block Artspace — The exhibition “In Pursuit: Kansas City Art Institute Faculty Biennial,” opens Aug. 29 and features work by retiring faculty as well as recent works created by faculty members during their sabbatical leave. The show will feature work by Cary Esser, Julie Farstad, Dwight Frizzel, Richard Mattsson, Karen McCoy, Jason Pollen, Brett Reif, Warren Rosser, Jim Sajovic, Gary Sutton and Pauline Verbeek-Cowart. Pictured: “Ocean Deep” by Warren Rosser (2014), oil on linen.


InterUrban ArtHouse — Matthew Krawcheck’s (’06 painting) solo exhibition “Perspectives” will be on display through Sept. 23 at InterUrban ArtHouse, 8001 Conser St., Suite 290, Overland Park, Kan. Krawcheck is also featured in the group exhibition “Urban Suburban,” on view through Nov. 1 at the Epsten Gallery, 5500 West 123 St., Overland Park, Kan. For more information, visit or Pictured: "Interior Study of University of Kansas Law Building" by Matthew Krawcheck (2012-13), graphite on paper, 18 inches by 48 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.



Kemper at the Crossroads — The exhibition “The Center is a Moving Target: If You Lived [T]here,” on view through Jan. 6, includes work by Jill Downen (’89 painting), assistant professor of sculpture, and James Woodfill (’80 painting), associate professor of painting. The show addresses the elusive modern definition of “regionalisms” in contemporary art. Pictured: “Block and Support Arm” by Jill Downen (2009), lumber, plaster, polystyrene, latex, variable dimensions. Photo courtesy of the artist and Bruno David Gallery.



Leedy-Voulkos Art Center – KCAI celebrates the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking School of the Foundation Year program with a national group exhibition on view through Sept. 26 at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Baltimore Ave. This exhibition features over 60 artists from across the United States, who taught in the college’s Foundation program. For additional information, click here. Pictured:“Black Kite,” by Christopher Kurtz (attended) (2013), hand carved basswood with burnished graphite, 18 inches by 24 inches by 13 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist and Lauren Coleman.


Leedy-Voulkos Art Center
– Joey Williams (’15 sculpture and art history), a former Marine, started the Endowment for Veterans Art Campaign (EVAC) in Kansas City, Mo. to honor, encourage and support the role of art in veterans’ daily lives. EVAC presents the work of former Marine Taylor White in the exhibition “Hostage” at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center through Sept. 26. Pictured: “Family A” by Taylor White, acrylic on canvas, 52 inches by 52 inches. Photo courtesy of Joey Williams.


Miller Nichols Library — Ann Suellentrop M.S.R.N. (’97 photo/video) collaborated with the University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC) to present the exhibition “Hiroshima-Nagasaki: Seventy Years Beyond the Bombings,” on view until Oct. 4 at the Miller Nichols Library on the UMKC campus. For additional information on the exhibition and related events, click here



Missouri Bank Through October, Dan Frueh’s (’94 photo/video) photographic installation “Down around the Corner” will be prominently displayed outside the Missouri Bank parking garage on 11th St. just off of Main St. To read or listen to Frueh discuss this work during a segment on KCUR about Art in the Loop projects, click here.




PLUG Projects — The exhibition “…or the stories we tell ourselves” by Marie Bannerot McInerney, assistant professor of fiber, opens Sept. 18 at PLUG Projects’ Local Solo space, 1613 Genessee St. For her new installation, McInerney will construct a pyramidic form of roughly two thousand collected books set against an atmospheric sound piece.


Studios Inc Exhibition Space —
The First Friday reception for “Site Unseen: Architectural Installations” will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 2. The exhibition showcases sculptural miniature rooms by resident artist Jill Downen (’89 painting), assistant professor of sculpture. The show remains on view through Oct. 16 at Studios Inc Exhibition Space, 1708 Campbell St. For additional information on the artist and the Studios Inc. program, click here. Pictured: “The Room Under My Skin” by Jill Downen (2015), mixed media, 14 inches by 11 inches by 18 inches. Photo courtesy of E.G. Schempf.



Tomahawk Ridge Community Center — The “Ceramics and Sculpted Wood Exhibit,” on view through Nov. 13 at Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, 11902 Lowell Ave., Overland Park, Kan., features new photographic work by Howard Harris (’71 design). For additional information, click here. Pictured: “Man of the Moment” by Howard Harris, mixed media photograph, 24 inches by 20 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.



UMKC Gallery of Art —
Taking the form of both a book and an exhibition, “Transmissions/Signals” examines the history of dialogue between Warren Rosser, William T. Kemper Distinguished Professor of Painting and chair of painting, and James Woodfill, associate professor of painting. The exhibition will be on display through Oct. 16 at the UMKC Gallery of Art, 5015 Holmes St. Pictured from left: James Woodfill and Warren Rosser in Jim Woodfill’s studio (2015).


In Memorium

Leonard Pryor (’51 design) of Topeka, Kan. passed away Sept. 3 at the age of 91. Pryor was the first African-American student to attend and graduate from KCAI in 1951. He then made history again as the first African-American to serve as academic dean from 1968-72. In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made in his memory at KCAI. Online contributions can be made at To view Leonar Pryor’s full obituary in the Kansas City Star, click here



William J. Rakocy (’50 painting) of El Paso, Tex. passed away Aug. 1 at the age of 91. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he met his wife, artist Gloria Canterbury (’51 painting) while studying at KCAI. In addition to a prolific career as a successful painter and writer, Rakocy served as a curator at the El Paso Museum of Art in El Paso, Tex. and founded the Rio Bravo Watercolorists group.  To read his full obituary from the El Paso Times, click herePictured from left: William Rakocy, Derrell Hiett and Gloria Rakocy (2008). Photo courtesy of Melody Parra.



Nelson Shanks (attended), 77, died Aug. 28 in Andalusia, Penn. Shanks studied painting at KCAI in 1958 and later at the National Academy of Design. He and his wife, Leona, founded Studio Incamminati, School for Contemporary Realist Art, in Philadelphia, Penn. Shanks was widely known for his commissioned portraits of prominent figures and political leaders, including two U.S. presidents—Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. To read his full obituary (published by the Associated Press), click herePictured: “Self Portrait” by Nelson Shanks (1987), oil on canvas, 22 inches by 30 inches.


Call for Artists

Applications for the 2016 Charlotte Street Visual Artist Awards will be accepted from Sept. 14 - Nov. 16. The awards recognize three exceptional visual artists based in the five-county Greater Kansas City Metro area with unrestricted cash awards of $10,000 each. To apply, visit

Be a part of  this year's Brush Creek Art Walk—Kansas City's plein air painting competition on Sept. 18-20. For more information, click here

Volunteers are needed to carve Jack-o-lanterns at Powell Gardens on Oct. 15 from 6-9 p.m. and Oct. 16 for shifts from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., noon-4 p.m., 3-7 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. To sign up, email

The Charlotte Street Foundation now accepts programming submissions on a rolling basis. Applicants can be artists (of any discipline), curators or cultural producers wishing to partner with Charlotte Street. Proposals may be for contemporary arts projects, including visual art exhibitions, installations, original live performances, video screenings, literary readings/events, public programs and collaborative projects. For more information, click here.


Opportunities List

KCAI’s Academic Advising and Career Services office publishes creative opportunities and career opportunities lists with employment, freelance, volunteer and RFQ listings for students and alumni. Download the current creative opportunities list here. Download the current job and career opportunities list here.

Upcoming events at KCAI

Check out a listing of all upcoming events at the Kansas City Art Institute.